Coping with Teens and Screens

by Aletha Solter, Ph.D.

Click here for a one-page printable version for free distribution to parents.

Spanish version: Cómo lidiar con los adolescentes y las pantallas


Teenagers playing video games

The following tips are for parents who are concerned about their children's use of electronic devices (phones, video games, social networking, etc.).

Not all screen use is bad. Electronic devices can help meet children’s (and adults’) needs for stimulation, information, connection, communication, and entertainment.

However, screen use can be problematic. Screens are captivating. One risk is the potential for addiction, which can interfere with teens’ school performance, relationships, and health. Social networking can be a source of misinformation and can be used in hurtful ways such as bullying and ostracizing. The ease of taking and sharing photos can lead to beauty contests for girls, as well as pressures to text or post nude photos. Pornography can replace healthy sex education. Parents also worry about violent video games and the risk of online acquaintances.

Tips for parents


Interview with Aletha Solter, Ph.D. about screen use in younger children


About Aletha Solter

Aletha Solter, PhD, is a developmental psychologist, international speaker, consultant, and founder of the Aware Parenting Institute. Her books have been translated into many languages, and she is recognized internationally as an expert on attachment, trauma, and non-punitive discipline.

Aware Parenting is a philosophy of child-rearing that has the potential to change the world. Based on cutting-edge research and insights in child development, Aware Parenting questions most traditional assumptions about raising children, and proposes a new approach that can profoundly shift a parent's relationship with his or her child. Parents who follow this approach raise children who are bright, compassionate, competent, nonviolent, and drug free.

For more information about parenting teenagers (and younger children), see Aletha Solter's book, Raising Drug-Free Kids.

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This page was last updated on October 23, 2023. Copyright © 2020 to 2023 by Aletha Solter. All rights reserved. No part of this article may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical (including copying to other web sites, and including translations), without written permission from Aletha Solter, with the exception of printing the article for personal use and for free distribution to parents. (For printing, please use the pdf version, which is linked to at the top of the article). Image courtesy of Ambro at

Warning/Disclaimer: The information in this article is not intended to be used as a substitute for medical or psychological advice or treatment. When children display emotional, behavioral, or medical problems of any kind, parents are strongly advised to seek professional advice and treatment. Some of the suggestions in this article may be inappropriate for children suffering from certain emotional, behavioral, or physical problems. Aletha Solter, The Aware Parenting Institute, and Shining Star Press shall have neither liability nor responsibility to any person or entity with respect to any damage caused, or alleged to be caused, directly or indirectly by the information contained in this article.